Andanar: Abella stays with Duterte administration
Secretary Martin Andanar confirmed Friday that Undersecretary Ernesto Abella is still part of the Duterte administration and he is not getting fired.
Andanar said Abella was only removed as President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesperson but he is still an undersecretary.
"Ernie (Abella) was not removed as an undersecretary. He is still an Undersecretary. And he will still serve under this administration. So that is what's important," he said in a radio interview.
On October 29, Duterte said it was his "personal decision" to replace Abella with Kabayan party-list Representative Harry Roque.
Duterte, in an interview in Davao City, believed that Roque was "competent and able" to serve as his spokesperson.
"It's in the messaging actually. We cannot speak the same words altogether but how we could convey that message from me would be the most important. I trust that he'd (Roque) be able to come up to the expectations," he said.
Roque will officially assume his new position on November 6.
In the same interview, the President refused to answer, when asked if Abella would be given another post in the government.
Andanar, however, said the former presidential spokesperson would still "have a place under the administration."
"Ernie (Abella) will stay with the administration. Wherever President Duterte will place him, it's still the President's prerogative. But I'm sure that Ernie will have something. He will have a place under the administration," the Communications Secretary said.
Abella earlier issued a statement expressing support for his successor.
"It is clear that the President has very sure instincts and that [incoming spokesperson] Roque meets his expectations," Abella said in a statement.
Abella believed Roque could help the President relay to the public his policies and programs that are beneficial to the country. (Ruth Abbey Gita/SunStar Philippines)